Another Broken Egg Cafe


During a recent visit to Jacksonville Florida, my hotel shared a parking lot with this great brunch spot.  Another Broken Egg Cafe specializes in well, you guessed it, eggs.  Specifically omelets and variations of eggs benedict.  Pancake and French toast fans, not to worry, the cafe has a few options for you as well.

 I enjoyed the black bean benedict.  The patties made from black beans and several spices was topped with a perfectly poached egg a slice of tomato and chipotle hollandaise.  It was so delicious. Stay tuned for the foodieengineer version of this treat.

I know I’m not the only one that loves to see the yolk ooze on a perfectly poached egg.

I can’t wait to get back to Another Broken Egg Cafe to try one of their awesome omelets.  Visit the website, they have a bunch of locations across the U.S.

Pulled “Pork” Sliders

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I wanted to enjoy the Super Bowl festivities, but lighten in up at the same time.  For the purposes of a pretty picture, I made mini biscuits with black pepper.  The pulled “pork” is actually chicken breast.  The best part of this recipe is that the entire thing is cooked in a slow cooker.  I love a “set it and forget it” recipe every now and then.  I found this recipe on My Recipes.  I added cayenne pepper to the recipe, because it needed a little kick of heat.

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I am so proud of my biscuit making skills.  I can get great flaky layers and have made several variations with the basic recipe.  This specific version I added about 3 teaspoons of ground black pepper.  The most perfect biscuit recipe that I have found is this recipe in Garden and Gun Magazine.  I think the secret is rubbing the soft butter on the layers of the biscuits, I find that chilled pieces of butter placed into the layers gives it even more flakiness.

The cool layer on the spicy sweet bbq pulled chicken is a healthier version of coleslaw.  I found this recipe on Two Healthy Kitchens.  This lightened version of coleslaw, has greek yogurt and apple cider vinegar giving it the typical tangy flavor that coleslaw provides.

When you put it all together, you get a fabulous bite of sweet spicy, hot and cold, on a flaky buttery biscuit.

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Brooklyn Streets

I had the Trinidadian doubles, and they were perfectly dressed with bara (flat bread), mango chutney, curried chickpeas, tamarind sauce, and shadon bennie (culantro)

 

One of the stars of the meal was the Pão De Queijo this bread that is soft and has it’s roots in Brazil was served hot and cheesy chewy, yes I said “cheesy chewy”.

Take the Family to Morocco

Moroccan Chicken sounds totally out there, but when you see the recipe and taste the chicken…

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If this chicken has the flavors of Morocco, I would love a culinary adventure to Morocco. Until then, I will make this recipe and look for a restaurant that has similar flavors.  I believe that cinnamon in anything is great, so adding it to this chicken dish was very intriguing. This is a meal that is definitely better with time.  For those that are working on tight schedules and doing meal preparation on the weekend, this recipe is perfect to eat the next day.  The Cozy Apron has a hit with this recipe, I decided to increase the level of spice to coat the chicken more,

The recipe is a basic braise and will leave you with moist and flavorful chicken.

 

IMG_3244 A mix of Northern African seasonings is coated on the chicken breasts (smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper)

When the chicken is seasoned and drizzled with olive oil brown the pieces on all sides, and set the chicken aside to cook the vegetables.

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IMG_3239 When the vegetables soften the chicken broth was added and the chicken was returned to the pan to braise. (garbanzo beans, tomatoes, onions, tomato paste, and garlic)IMG_3054 (1)
Once the chicken has fully cooked, you will want to eat it immediately, but resist, because when you pair this chicken with lemon almond couscous, you will not be disappointed.  Visit The Cozy Apron for the full recipe.

Try it and feel free to comment below with your thoughts.

Jambalaya for the Family

I already got my goto gumbo recipe, so I decided I need a basic goto jambalaya recipe.  Guess what… score!  This can be prepared by anyone.  If you are just looking for a one pot dish that will feed about a dozen people, this is it.

Preparations:

Dice 1 large onion

Dice one of each yellow, green and red bell pepper

Dice 2 ribs of celery

Mince 4 cloves of garlic

Dice 1 whole jalapeño

Add all of the prepared vegetables to a pot heated with a tablespoon of olive oil, and once they are cooked thru nicely add cut up boneless skinless chicken breats and a pound of andouille sausage with a bay leaf.

    
Once the vegetables and chicken are cooked, add 3 cups of chicken broth, 14oz of crushed tomatoes and a 1 1/2 cups of brown rice.   This is also the step that you begin to add the seasoning, like 2 tablespoons of creole seasonings, 2 teaspoons of dried thyme


When the rice begins to finish cooking. Add a pound of shrimp and a cup of okra.

This dish will only get better with time.  When all of the broth is absorbed, this dish will be a treat for a casual dinner party, tailgate, or even a potluck.

I took the liberty of lightening up this recipe with the use of brown rice and chicken andouille saudage , and I used 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp instead of the 1 pound to stretch it a bit, and besides you doesn’t like shrimp.

Dining with Darius Cooks

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending an awesome event.  A very talented and successful self made and trained chef by the name of Darius Williams, but better known as Darius Cooks, hosted one of his nearly 50 dinners that he has scheduled around the country this year in Jacksonville FL.  The dinner is a 7 course meal served family style, and leaves you full, and satisfied.  I would describe Darius’ food in 2 words, simple and special.  Everything that you would have at a Dining With Darius Cooks event are very simple at first glance.  But once he comes to explain each course you realize that each course in fact is “something special”, although he describes it as “nothing special”.  An example is even the Greek salad.  At first glance it is very simple, until he explains that amongst several things the salad has a home made lemon vinaigrette, bacon, mint leaves, and croutons made from Hawaiian Rolls.

  

One of the later courses of the dinner was a chicken and rice dish.  We were again pleasantly surprised with all of the flavors that made the chicken and rice completely flavorful, and utterly unexpected.  I mean Cajun flavors for day.

Without ruining the experience for the rest of the Darius Cooks fans, also known as the #Dhive, I won’t share the details of the rest of the courses, but suffice it to say, this dining experience is well worth it.  Darius is one of the most personable and relaxed cooks in the kitchen, and there is nothing like watching someone follow their passion in living color.

Darius has a goal of continuing the growth of his passion by pursuing opening restaurants, and I look forward to supporting him in this endeavor as well.  If you are not familiar with Darius Williams, I strongly encourage you to follow him on his website DariusCooks.com and get hooked on his food by following him on instagram.

Thank you Darius for being just as warm and funny as you are on social media, the dining experience was great, and I enjoyed every morsel.

Chai Cheesecake

Can I tell you, I have found the best cheesecake recipe?  I was looking for a holiday dessert and stumbled upon this Chai Cheesecake.  I have found that sometimes I try recipes for the pure enjoyment of seeing if it really tastes like what it is flavored as.  This cheesecake is a smooth, cool, solid form of chai tea.  The crust has candied ginger in it, which gives the cheesecake a really nice surprise.  The full recipe can be found on the Epicurious site.

The butter of course make the cruse delicious, but the ginger makes it special

I was too lazy to roll out the dough so I simply pressed it into the spring form pan  and poked it with a fork several times.When I make it again I will pull the crust out a little earlier.


When you make the filling, do your best to avoid tasting, you may not have enough for the cheesecake.    img_3071

The secret to no cracks in the top of your cheesecake is the water bath.  Place the pan on top of foil, and form the foil around it, then put the pan inside a larger pan.  Once the spring form pan is placed in the larger pan, fill the larger pan with water until at least an inch of water is covering the side of the springform pan.

Another special treat for this cheesecake is the topping, or top layer.  It is simply sour cream sugar and vanilla.  who knew you could bake sour cream as a topping.
 I think the finished product turned out very well.  My coworkers loved the texture and the ginger surprise.  If you want to impress some people including yourself, this is an awesome recipe to try.  I think next time I will make some caramel to drizzle on top.

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The Best Chicken Recipe For Any Family

I have the best go to recipe for chicken if I want the most moist, delicious chicken.  This recipe will ensure the skin comes out crispy and flavorful.  I think I have been cooking my chicken with this recipe for at least five years.   I found this recipe looking for a solid, simple, and flavorful chicken recipe on Food Gawker.  Foodgawker is a site that houses great recipes and images of food from various food blogs.  This particular recipe is from For The Love of Cooking.  The recipe entails simply making a rub and the biggest trick is slow roasting it at a very low temperature.  That’s it, that simple “slow and low” as they say.  Stuff the chicken with 8 cloves of garlic and a whole onion.  The spices in the rub are everything that you should have in your spice rack, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and thyme.  Be sure to visit For the Love of Cooking to get the full recipe.

The Best Cookie Ever – Compost Cookies

Have you heard about the best cookie ever created.  This cookie will please the people that like crunch.  This cookie will please the people that enjoy a soft chewy cookie.  This cookie will even please the people that aren’t so into cookies, yep, I said it.

If you are not familiar with Momofuku Milk Bar, I invite you to come from under the rock you have been hanging out under, and pay a visit to any one of the Momofuku Milk Bars sprinkled around the NYC area and Canada.  Not only can you pay them a visit, but you can have this cookie delivered to your front door.  So, I say all that to say, you don’t have a choice but to try this cookie.  Ok fine, you don’t want to go to the bakery, you don’t want to pay for the shipping, blah blah blah.

Behold… Momofuku Milk Bar is so sure that you will enjoy their cookie so much that you won’t mind travelling to one of it’s locations or paying for it to be shipped, that they have shared the recipe with you FOR FREE, yes and not just the compost cookie recipe either.  In other words, bake the cookie and tell me I was wrong.  Oh and by the way don’t be turned off by the name of the cookie… Compost Cookie, instead, be intrigued.

You can watch me do it here:

IMG_3123 I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but feel free to make it as complex or as simple as you would like.  Th

IMG_3124 Cream the butter and sugar together IMG_3127

IMG_3126 Add the egg and vanilla

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Beat the egg and vanilla into the butter sugar mix for nearly 10 minutes

 

IMG_3130Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt)

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Now this is the fun part, you can follow the recipe or add what ever you like.  My favorite is the potato chips, I have made them without the chips one time… won’t happen again.  I was all out of chips because I got greedy the last time that I made these cookies and ate the rest of the bag of chips.  I think I will cut up some dates and add them to the cookies next time, feel free to experiment

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IMG_3134 Don’t forget the coffee.  When I made these cookies for my parents my mom handed me the coffee in the filter bag (fresh), and it actually worked.  I was suspicious breaking open a filter bag of coffee, but it really worked out.

IMG_3138 After refrigerating the dough for 1 hour on the tray lined with parchment paper, bake the cookies for 18 minutes and let cool on the tray.

IMG_3141 Do not forget that just because the recipe is on the website, I highly suggest you get this cookbook.  I can’t wait to try to make one of the cakes next.

IMG_2495 Finding a whole pretzel in your cookie is like finding the tiny plastic baby in your Mardi Gras King Cake.

Easy Chili Recipe

Chili is one of my favorite things to eat during the winter season.  My grandmother used to make chili for the clients that came to the house to see my grandfather for hair cuts.  My grandpa had one of those old school barber chairs, and cut hair in the basement.  As I grew up and my mom took us to visit on weekends, my grandmother continued to make the chili, and she knew my cousins and I looked forward to it, as well as any dessert that she had also prepared.  Most of the time the desserts that she had were pound cake, or blueberry pie.  I cherish those memories.  I thought I would share my memories with you.

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I chose to use half of a poblano and onion to start the chili  


IMG_3011 I sauteed the onion and pepper in olive oil until they were soft 


IMG_3012 I decided to lighten the recipe up with turkey and lean beef, and seasoned with cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Start with 1 teaspoon of each spice with salt and pepper to taste, and build up from there.

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My grandmother used kidney beans in her recipe, but I only had black beans


IMG_3016After all of the ingredients including the onions, poblano, turkey, beef, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, black beans, and chicken broth.  When I let this simmer for about 40 minutes, the flavor brought me right back to my grandmother.

IMG_3030I decided to eat some of the chili over a sweet potato and broccoli

What a great healthy way to honor my Grandmother, one of the warmest women that I ever knew.  I know that she is so proud of me and I hope she would think this chili is just as tasty as her original version.